Who knew seashells and thermoplastic could combine to such effect? Van Buren is a peer and a friend of Lynda Benglis's, and both artists share an affection for molten forms. A cursory glance at this work can be confusing—the gaudy colors, the seemingly decorative shapes, those shells—and it's certainly an acquired taste.
Richard Van Buren began his career as a Minimalist back in the mid-1960s when this approach to art-making was becoming dominant in the lofts of SoHo and Tribeca, years before the galleries moved to West Chelsea. In the meantime, Van Buren left New York to live in Maine—the cold country—and in the process his manner of working radically shifted gears.
November 2, 2011
After Hurricane Irene prevented them from meeting at the Center for Maine Contemporary Art in Rockport, Maine, where a selection of his sculptures was on exhibition, Richard Van Buren and John Yau met in New York to discuss his work and his upcoming show at Gary Snyder Gallery (November 10 - December 17, 2011).